By Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

An unrelenting warrior for Madiga rights, Manda Krishna Madiga has proved himself once again. He planned a public meeting in Amaravati to demand categorisation in reservations for the Madiga community. But for unknown reasons, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu did not grant permission for conduct of the public meeting. The very mention of public meetings for social causes is making the chief minister jittery.

At one point of time, Chandrababu Naidu proclaimed himself as the biggest benefactor of the Madiga communities and tom-tommed that he would champion their cause for SC reservation categorisation. However, now he is deafeningly silent on reservation categorisation or Madiga rights. It may be recalled that it was the same Madiga community which stood by the chief minister in united Andhra Pradesh when he took out a padayatra, while the Mala community and those demanding separate Telangana opposed him.

Now, Chandrababu Naidu is promoting Mala community members. He is poaching MLAs from the community in the YSRCP and is giving them plum postings in the administration. This despite the fact that some of those "beneficiaries" are not full-time workers of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). What brought this shift in stance by Chandrababu Naidu? One explanation is that in united AP, Naidu promoted the Madiga community for his political expediency. He is said to have instigated them against the Malas, who traditionally backed the Congress then.

Post-bifurcation, the statistics have changed and now there are more Malas in AP than Madigas and Madigas are no longer a factor in Chandrababu's scheme of things. So, he is out to woo the Malas. That explains why he is mum on reservation categorisation. This is typically Chandrababu kind of politics.

He may have his own issues on the SC reservation categorisation. But, why is he stopping the Madigas from holding a meeting, which essentially is their democratic right? Even the High Court expressed surprise at his action. It is precisely to oppose this dictatorial nature that Madigas protested at several places and have even set fire to a police van. However, violence is never good and has to be condemned whatever the provocation. But, it is also important that the Government should not try to trample democratic rights, especially of the marginalised.

Interestingly, the BJP, which is TDP's political partner and Venkaiah Naidu, who is close to Chandrababu Naidu, are all for reservation categorisation in favour of Madigas. Yet, the Government is not giving permission to the Madiga's Kurukshetra Sabha. Venkaiah Naidu should have given his sage advice so that the Madiga protest could be held.

As for Manda Krishna, there are divergent opinions. During the 2014 elections, he was rumoured to have a clandestine pact with the TDP. Despite his fight for the cause of the Madigas, he is essentially seen as an opportunist leader. It is time he strives to convince the people that he is an honest of a hapless community.